Ratings: Mkhitaryan and Pogba the unlucky stars; Rashford the unlikely hero

Manchester United made it through to the semi-final of the Europa League with a 2-1 win over Anderlecht in extra time, though it was slightly undeserved as Anderlecht played equally well as United on the day. After a period of early dominance from United that saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan put United ahead, Marcos Rojo’s injury halted United’s progress and Anderlecht earned an equaliser. The second half was a bit of a crapshoot after that, but heading into extra time, United gained control of the match by moving Marcus Rashford up front and bringing on Anthony Martial.

The result was a winner for Marcus Rashford after a few unlucky attempts from him, Lingard, and Ibrahimovic, as well as a few great creative moments from Pogba and Mkhitaryan that could’ve resulted in goals. This match showed why United still needs to fight for Top 4 in the Premier League, as the Europa League can go wrong very quickly, but United didn’t pay the price and now can move on to Turf Moor on Sunday, focusing on gaining important points at a tough ground.

Goals: Henrikh Mkhitaryan 10′, Marcus Rashford 107′

Assists: Marcus Rashford 10′, Marouane Fellaini 107′

Manchester United: Romero; Valencia, Bailly, Rojo (Blind 23′), Shaw; Carrick, Pogba; Rashford, Mkhitaryan, Lingard (Fellaini 60′); Ibrahimovic (Martial 90)

Substitutes Not Used: De Gea; Young, Herrera; Rooney

Manchester United

20 Sergio Romero

Showed composure clearing crosses, though also proved he could make an error at some point in this competition with a few scary moments.


25 Antonio Valencia

Bombed up and down the left flank, as has become expected of him, but failed to offer end product and was caught out of position a few times.


3 Eric Bailly

Also caught out of position on many occasions, Bailly will count himself lucky that the opposition didn’t punish him after his important partner, Marcos Rojo, exited the pitch.


5 Marcos Rojo

Picked up an injury early in the match and was replaced by Daley Blind. Hope he’s back as soon as possible, because he’s extremely important, but my hopes aren’t high based on the way he went off.


23 Luke Shaw

Showed bright moments going forward but lacked creativity and finishing. Kept his solidity defensively.


16 Michael Carrick

A passenger for large parts of the game, Carrick was a bypass for anyone who could get through the solid Pogba and Mkhitaryan in midfield.


6 Paul Pogba

Struggled to finish his chances at times in the match, and didn’t correctly mark Tielemans at times in the first half. However, he had chances at goal, including a disallowed strike, and completed an incredible nine tackles. A step away from a top, top drawer performance.


19 Marcus Rashford

Assisted the first goal and scored the second, though he was lost and missed a few sitters between the first in the opening ten minutes and the last in extra time. He could’ve put the game away earlier, but he did it eventually.


22 Henrikh Mkhitaryan

The player of the match, in many terms, as he scored the first goal to make life difficult for Anderlecht, and was solid in midfield for the entire game. He could be an excellent Scholes-type midfielder, arriving outside the box late and providing al little bit more defensive stability. Completed 6 key passes and 5 dribbles.


14 Jesse Lingard

Poor from the right-wing again, vacating his position and getting lost in the middle of the pitch. He needs to be a central player. Replaced by Fellaini.


10 Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Missed some terrible chances, and was replaced by Martial after an injury. Played his worst game for the club but his injury, along with Rojo’s will be a blow.



17 Daley Blind

Replaced Rojo. After his offside trap error that led to Anderlecht’s goal, he looked shaky during his first centre-back appearance in months, but he grew into the game and was United’s best defender in extra time (though that doesn’t say much). He paid for the errors he made, while the other members of United’s defence didn’t. United should be fine with Blind, though Rojo is more stable defensively, because Blind offers a lot in the other phases of play.


27 Marouane Fellaini

Replaced Lingard. Didn’t and don’t like the substitution, but he played well ultimately and assisted Rashford’s winner.


11 Anthony Martial

Replaced Ibrahimovic. Had a much better cameo this time around, buzzing around with the ball and scoring a goal that was disallowed.


Written by Aaron Moniz


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